Open Beta Q&A
Originally posted on ThisIsGame, this Q&A about the TERA Open Beta translated by TeraFans has a great deal of information about the game. The answers are from Hyun-Kyu Park, Executive Developer, Kang-Suk Kim, CEO, and Lead Graphic artist Chul-Woon Hwang.
Some of the topics discussed are graphics, endgame content, battlefields, the political system, changes made since the stress test, level cap, dungeons and more.
“TERA’s max level to be 50, enjoy politics and battlefields.”
- Hyun-Kyu Park, Executive Developer for Bluehole Studio, Kang-Suk Kim, CEO, and Lead Graphic artist Chul-Woon Hwang.
“TERA is no longer a ‘heavy’ game.”
We are not talking about the client size, we are talking about how easy it is to approach the game and the difficulty of it. Chul-Woong Hwang of Bluehole studio’s graphics team and Executive Developer Hyun-Kyu constantly reminded everyone during the 3 day press conference that “Tera is not a hard game.”
After the stress test there were many complaints about the difficulty of aiming so the developers increased the hitbox of the crosshairs. They’ve started to focus on “fun” as well as balance in TERA and they’ve also tried to make the game look overall brighter through recently released posters.
As a result they’ve created a more “light” looking TERA which they feel will make the game more approachable. There are many interesting features that have changed for the OBT since the stress test.
Expierence the ‘lighter’ TERA during the OBT
Q. Recently you’ve changed the genre of the game from non-targeting to free targeting.
The genre we consider TERA, whether it’s called free targeting or non-targeting, is a simple tool to differentiate TERA from other games. TERA is an MMORPG with action elements, but the game itself is not an action game. If we call TERA a non-targeting game, many people expect an action game. Throughout the game’s various tests, we tried to make TERA easier to get into, adding a lock-on system and many other improvements.
After those changes we also decided to rename the non-targeting system to “free targeting system”. Let’s be honest free targeting rolls off the tongue better doesn’t it? It doesn’t sound so negative.
Q. What changes were made after the Stress Test?
We’ve been focused on balance. PVP balance was the one we worked on the most. We didn’t focus on PVP balance before the stress test, so we’re taking our time balancing it now. We’re also trying to add more fun and balance to PvE.
In addition, we changed the interface around to be easier to use.
Q. It’s been difficult for Priests and Archers to hit their targets.
The heal targeting system went through an overhaul. During the stress test, the healing aim reticle was just a small dot, requiring precise accuracy to be successful. Now we have increased the size and made it a circle, meaning if you are slightly off there is a chance the heal will still hit.
The size of the crosshair varies between classes. Since Archers only have to aim at enemies, they have a large crosshair. Priests need to have accurate aim to heal allies so the crosshair is smaller. It should be a lot easier to hit your target now.
Q. All races are different sizes, will this effect anything in game?
It wil, from attack range to receiving heals, there are pros and cons depending on character size. Some say Elin Lancers will be hard to heal and we are currently thinking of ways to fix this.
Being small comes in handy in other ways, though. Late in the game, there is a dragon that breathes fire. If an Elin gets close enough to the dragon, the fire will just pass over her.
Q. New posters and illustrations give TERA a brighter feel.
Previously, TERA was seen as a very heavy and dark game but during the CBTs we’ve become a bit lighter. We’ve tried to appeal to more players by having brighter posters and illustrations.
End game content will be politics and Dungeons
Q. What are some of the things we’ll experience for end game content?
This depends on the phases of the end game. We are thinking level 38 will be the level cap during the OBT and after release it will progressively increase. For now we are thinking it will be level 50. Once you hit level 50 you will be able to experience politics and battlefields.
Q. Many people say Korean games tend to lack end game content.
TERA’s end game will follow typical patterns and events, including farming dungeons and other activities made popular by other MMORPG games. We have worked very hard to deliver unique and exciting dungeons but we know that alone is not enough.
That is why we’ve prepared event type content. An example of a TERA event will be the political system. TERA takes the social aspect of the game very seriously so there will be regularly held political events.
Q. What types of systems will Battlefields showcase?
The 5 vs 5 battlefield will be a battle between two parties. The map will be simple with a starting point and dueling point with some architect you can destroy to get buffs and such to increase the strategic aspect of it. There will be a commander and you will be able to respawn beside the commander.
What we hope to reach and launch is the 10 vs 10 battlefield. It will include two parties on each side. The map will be capture the flag system. The map will have three flags to capture and the commander in this map will have skills to aid the party, such as dropping a meteor, scanning to locate enemies and other various support skills. Later on we will start to increase the numbers in the battlefield by 15 vs 15, 20 vs 25, etc.
The benefit of winning Battlefields will be PVP gear and guild buffs. In TERA there are both PvE and PvP gear, and you will be able to acquire the PVP gear through Battlefields.
There will also be guild buffs to earn. Guild buffs can only be acquired through battlefields and one of theses buff can increase the exp you gain. We recommend that guilds party up and try to earn buffs.
Q. There is a possibility that the political system, including the castle and the archon, will only be content for the minority.
There will be 10 Archons after the OBT. If you say they are a representative of a 50 people guild, guild members related to the archons will already be 500. And if you include other guilds that want to become archons, we think there will be enough room for a lot of people to participate. (This was a confusing part, I don’t really follow.)
Just to add, in other games Archons (Lords) were picked by the level of one’s military force or power, so a person who enjoys the game regardless of power could never become an Archon themselves. Our goal is to have a system where we reward players who play the game long enough to be able to become an Archon. It will be based one two things, power and the community. There will also be elections to choose the Archon.
If you are a person who knows everyone, there is a high chance for you to be able to become an Archon. So, we don’t think this content will be just for the minority.
Delivering story through cutscenes and dungeons.
Q. How much content are you preparing for the OBT?
We’ve basically finished the build for the OBT and are currently working on the content after that. We will reveal the update schedule sometime after the OBT. We prefer big updates rather than small itty bitty updates. We will basically have set dates for delivering large content through a schedule.
Q. How much story can a player enjoy during the OBT?
It will be revealed up to the first continent, you will be able see the glimpse of the shadow behind it all and why you are here, who the enemy is and what you have to do. All that will be answered.
Q. We’ve heard about server vs server Battlefields. Will that be in the OBT?
Just to give you an idea of battles, everyone within one server should unite and help each other, because everyone in the server is part of Valkyion Federation.
However later on we might make it server vs server, so it will be people battling someone from another server rather than their own.
Q. What have you prepared to tell TERA’s story?
The easiest way to do it is with text but players don’t read that these days. So what we ended up doing is focusing more on the parts where it would be important in the story. For example we put in dungeons or cutscenes around the important parts of the story. We will also tell our story within the dungeons with cutscenes and even the strategy of the dungeon will be part of the story.
The most popular classes of Pre-selection are Lancer and Priest.
Q. What was the most popular class during pre-selection?
It is currently still in progress so we can’t say for sure but there were a lot more lancers and priests than we had originally thought there would be. Even though there was a lot of discussion regarding the difficulty of the Priest class there still were a lot of people picking Priest. Also many people picked Warrior from clips, most DPS were melee.
Q. There will be popular and unpopular classes, no question about it. What are you going to do about it?
We will have to fix that through balancing. This is one of the things we were afraid of from the get go. We are going to try hard to not have a certain class become horrible and rare to find. We go through a series of effective tests for each class to see their balancing issues.
One of the prime examples this is the Mystic. After the stress test, we’ve added a new skill for the Mystic. The classes that went through the most change were the archer and the mystic after the stress test.
Q. How are you censoring names that will be problematic?
We’ve stopped people from putting in swear words or a few important names from the game. Other than that you can create your name freely, that is why we’ve allowed 1 letter names. We wanted to give freedom to those deciding their name.
Q. Will the pre-selection server locks be removed after the OBT starts?
Once the OBT launches the numbers will become more stable. Right now we are being a bit strict.
Q. Your graphics are some of the best of current MMORPGs, what are some of the things that are most important to you?
A balance. MMORPGs have too many things to bring across. When we revealed the game around 2007 we needed a lot of content just to have the basic amount of content needed for a game.
During that process we’ve tried to bring harmony to those looking at our graphics. For example if you look at Amani & Barakas, Elin & Popori side by side you will wonder if they are even from the same game but in-game they actually look very harmonized.
From the most recent MMORPGs I think our characters have the most unique appearance out of them all.
Q. Are you going to take advantage of new technology, such as DirectX 11?
We currently have no plans for it as DirectX 11 is supported by Windows 7, Geforce 400 series or higher only supports it. Right now it is not something a massive amount of users have or need.
But TERA uses the Unreal 3 Engine and the whole engine revolves around Direct X 9 technology, though we’ve developed some things that weren’t supported by the Engine. There probably will be improvements and things added in the future to enhance the experience.
Q. If you look carefully at Elins, they have 4 ears.
Elins were designed around a young, lady-like figure. They are a pair with Popori, and originally they were also animal like characters. However we felt pressure while we tried to make different customizing options and just went ahead with a human look. I think some of the confusion left from the change resulted in that.
Q. What are the recommended system requirement for TERA?
Currently we think around GTS 250, from Radeon 4850 or higher will be able to enjoy the game with ease.